fly fish trout in western washington

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by flytie, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. I'm looking for some rivers or streams in western washington that provide good flyfishing for trout. I'm not talking about steelhead but just the good old rainbow trout, brown cut, ect ect help! I know of the snoqualmie forks and the ceder river but have been unable to locate anywere else except for the lakes of the region.:beathead:
  2. Get a Gazetteer and follow the little blue lines to the east of you. Be sure you check the regs, most don't open until June 1st.

    You really won't get much help with such a general question, so the Gazetteer would be you best place to start.

    Get out and pound the bushes.

  3. Welcome. Micro Brew's suggestion of a Gazetteer is great. Add to that a copy of the regs and start looking them up. The regs will list species and seasons, the gazetteer will also list species found in the systems. I'm not familiar with the cascades, but I am sure you'll find flowing water that can suit you. Search names of those blue lines here on the site using the search function and you'll likley find a lot of threads on places that will keep you busy. Best of luck.
  4. Once you find a river or stream that you interested and have checked the regs to see when it's open, do a search on this site for all pasts discussions that have been possibly posted here about them. There's a pretty deep repository of info here if you go looking for it.
  5. When you find one that has fish in it, let me know, will you?
  6. Welcome to the forum flytie. Like you I'm a trout fisher who's also frustrated with the relative scarcity of non-anadromous fish in western Washington streams.

    Unlike Idaho, Montana, the BC interior, or other 'trouty' areas, the reality here is that since nearly all our coastal streams empty into salt water, nearly all the fish associated with them are migratory. The very few streams with exclusively resident trout are those like the Snoqualmie forks that lie above natural barriers that prevent returning anadromous fish from spawning.

    The sad fact is that if you're looking to fish for resident trout, for the most part you're gonna have to be content with fishing the Snoqualmie forks, learning to appreciate lakes (as I have), or driving great distances.

  7. Just post it here and Steve and all the rest of us will be there. Or PM just Steve and I and the crowd will be just 2 more, if i can find it. Thanks Steve and Flytie. Mumbles don't you have your own mountains in your back pocket or some where close by. Hoh hoh hoh, that's bad I know!
  8. Kent,
    didn't get my permit in time but I heard, Through the gate and right and up a few miles and double back to the lake. Late afternoon fishing starting to turn on for a bit about 2 pm and a bit later or so.

  9. Welcome flytie! Western Washington rivers aren't known for great trout fishing so that maybe why you're having problems finding out about them. Plus, as others have pointed out, river trout fishing in Western Washington generally doesn't start until June (check regs). If a river or section of river gets runs of anadromous fish, you can pretty much bet that there won't be an awesome resident big trout fishery like you'd find in Montana. Plus, many of the fish people think are trout are actually baby steelhead or salmon so one must be very careful and be good at fish ID. Many of these rivers have runs of searun cutthroat trout that can be legally targeted at certain times of the year so you might check that out. Often, there is decent fishing for small (6"-8") resident trout above barriers like falls, etc. that the anadromous fish can't access and you may stumble upon a bigger fish. In your area, when they open, try just about any tributary to the North or South Fork of the Skykomish - the Foss, Beckler, Tye, Miller, etc. You could also go over to the Mountain Loop Hwy and fish the tribs of the South Fork of the Stilly or head up to the Snoqualmie and its tribs. You often will have these smaller creeks to yourself as many people prefer to fish other rivers with bigger fish like the Yakima.

    In addition to the Gazetteer, other good resources are "Flyfisher's Guide to Washington" by Greg Thomas and for smaller streams, "Washington's Central Cascades Fishing Guide" by Dave Shorett. Dave also has books for the Olympics and the Rainer area. Start exploring and you may be surprised by what you find - but it won't be like what you'd find in Montana, Idaho or Colorado. Have fun!
  10. Dave, seriously, you didn't get a permit this year? Shoot me a PM and I'll point you to some alternatives.

  11. Some people might hate me for doing this but here it goes... The Foss and Tye Rivers up near the town of Skykomish have extremely consistent dry fly fishing during the warmer months of summer. Elk hair caddis or a yellow humpy is all you need... Size 14 barbless should be about right. I hit these rivers with a 3wt. because the trout are not big by any means, about 8 inches on average, but every know and then you can pull a 15-18 incher out of the deeper pools with a sculpin pattern stripped over the surface, so a 3wt has just the right amount of backbone needed for this type of fishing in my opinion. Also, the Miller River near Skykomish is also a good spot. However, public access is not easy on the Foss River, the Tye is somewhat easier, and the Miller is mostly all public water. ALL of the rivers I mentioned require some bush whacking and some wading skills with a good pair of boots or wading sandals.
    I hope I didnt give away someone's secret spot... but its always nice to help out someone looking to catch a fish or three.

  12. Thanks for weighing in Connor. I've had a couple of very respectable fish to hand on the Tye in years past but have never fished the Miller or Foss. I've heard good things about the Beckler and some of its tribs as well. Your post illustrates that there are plenty of waters worth exploring, even here in steeheadland!

    Oh, and welcome aboard!

  13. If you are willing to pay your dues by checking out lots of little streams and tribs to the bigger rivers you will have some success. I was shocked when I move here in the early 80's that all this good coastal water did not have many big trout. I fished the forks of the snoqualmie a ton and branched out from there. Fishing the major west side rivers targeting trout I would get a lot of cookie cutter 10-12" fish but did pick up some SRC in the18" range. Just have to fight through the smolts and the little guys to get there. All things considered I found that a quick jaunt to the Yakima would get my big trout needs taken care of.
  14. While those rivers are good. Those small trout you are catching are probably Steelhead smolts. I've caught Jacks out of the Beckler to about 18". What the Forest Service has to do is repair the road up to the upper N/F Sky. There is some good fishing up in there at the right time of the year. The right time is after all the snow has melted and the runoff is over with.

    But just searching the maps for those little blue lines doesn't help that much. What you need to do is go and search where those little blue lines are. Some of those lines are bigger than others and some dry up in the summer time. I've spent a lot of time up in the head waters of the Skykomish when I lived in Washington.

    Here's a few more to play in. The West Fork of the Foss, Money Creek, Jim Creek(Snohomish Co), Canyon Creek. The real trouble with the wet side rivers is that most of the small fish are Steelead smolts. To catch other trout you have to get above where the Steelhead and Salmon can't get to. Like the falls the block their way up the N/F Sauk and the N/F Sky. I could go on and on, but why.
  15. As far as the NF Sky, check the regulations. Much of it is closed waters (at least in years past).
  16. I know it has closed sections on it. What I was saying was to get above the closed section. Above the 90' falls on the N/F.

    I remember that it used to be only closed 1000' above and 1000' below Bear Creek falls. The water above there was good water. But no more.
  17. Our good folks at WDFW need to start stocking big browns in our western WA rivers. Let them become searuns if so inclined. In a few years nobody will remember what a steelhead is. Yes, that's the ticket.
  18. I've got a great report from March of 2010.
    PM me for details.
  19. In case no one noticed, we have a new member, auhunter, who is rifling through old threads for gems and replying to a few of them.

    Welcome aboard, auhunter. We're looking forward to when you make it up to 2013. :)

    auhunter, underachiever and Itchy Dog like this.
  20. Thinking back to your old stomping grounds? A little Trinity river brown flashback??

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